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Sleep vs. Exercise: Which is more important?

Hello and welcome to our first “Ask Me Anything“ blog post! We will be publishing these every other Friday. Be sure to check in on those other weeks to see a Member Transformation article! These questions can be submitted to Bellhouse CrossFit via email, our Prayer Requests and Comments box at the gym, or during the story that we post on Wednesdays. Now… lets get to answering the question for this week.

When we workout, we are tearing and breaking down our muscles. Think of the body as a hard boiled egg that is cracking throughout the day. When you go to the gym, go to work, experience the day’s stressors, up until we fall asleep the egg shell is cracking. Once we sleep and wake the next day, however, the egg shell has put itself back together. It is now a whole egg again. 

The questions to ask is how do I choose what is best for my body? Should I sleep or go to the gym?

Imagine that you are consistently pushing your body in the gym. Let’s say you have a goal of improving your metcons. In order to see results, you have to exercise. Here at Bellhouse CrossFit we believe that results from exercise are going to come from your hard work and smart recovery. Smart recovery includes getting enough sleep. How much is enough? Studies have shown that 7-9 hours of sleep is adequate for adults that are exercising regularly. 

It can be difficult to prioritize sleep. It is really important to make time for it. Here is the clincher. They are both important. If you are not sleeping enough to recover from your workouts, then you are putting your body in a fatigued state and a risk of injury. Here at Bellhouse CrossFit, it is our goal for you to see results. Our focus is not just on the workouts in the gym, but your overall health. Sometimes you may need to get in a nap, or take a couple more hours to snooze so that your body gets the adequate recovery needed to take full advantage of the previous day’s workout. 

Let us help you keep your body from cracking and build a strong egg shell. Next steps? Schedule a time to come in, see our gym, and meet a coach. If you are wanting a change in your life and do not know where to begin, click here.


Justin Christmas Bellhouse CrossFit Transformation

Who are you? Be sure to include something that most people don’t know about you.

I have a beautiful wife of 9 years and 2 kids. I attended the University of Houston. I am an absolute gearhead. Anything about cars. I grew up working with cars alongside my dad and grandpa. My family has been drag racing since the 70’s. I started at 18, and hope to pass to my kids one day. Of the cars I’ve owned, my favorite was a 1976 Camaro. I love working with my hands.

Why do you keep coming back to Bellhouse CrossFit?

It helps if I break it down into four categories… commitment, community, coaching, and health. I did not think of myself as a gym rat growing up. As a young person I played sports, and continued to play basketball and volleyball recreationally as an adult. Once the kids entered my picture, I stopped playing. I used to hate lifting weights. I would quit my team in high school when the off season came around. 

The commitment to start CrossFit for me needed to be a daily practice. CrossFit has become a sport for me. If i didn’t commit to coming every single day, then I would have quit just like those other sports. 

Community is incredible at Bellhouse CrossFit. My life felt upside down when I joined the gym. My priorities were out of whack. I’ve met new friends here at the gym. I can lean on other people for support. They cheer me on when I achieve a PR.

Coaching is most important for sticking with exercise. When I look at the board and see movements that I don’t understand… it is intimidating. I love being coached from the ground up. The last time I lifted weights was doing a barbell bench press in high school. Now that I’ve been here for 5 months, I’m still getting taught. The coach celebrates my accomplishments too! 

I was diagnosed at 26 years old with high cholesterol, a dysfunctional heart valve, and was surprised by this condition. After 6 years of living with this I got tired and needed a change. My doctor recently took me off of my medications. He said I was in an ideal health range. That made me feel so excited and proud of the effort I have put into the gym and my health. 

What are you proud of physically, mentally, and spiritually since joining the gym?

Physically would be my improved health. There is really hard evidence on paper that CrossFit is improving my health. Exercise has improved my heart condition. The coach talks about healthy eating at the whiteboard. I was considered a string bean by my peers. Now I can see my muscles! Gaining strength has been very cool. My biggest physical goal is to play sports with my kids as they grow up. I am excited I’ll be able to beon the field with them instead of sitting on the sidelines.

Mentally, I’ve realized anything is possible. Once you have seen success, the next time there is a challenge, you know there will be a path through. As long as you find and execute a strategy, you can make your way through.

Spiritually, it is the community. For me it is making new friends. It is amazing working out with my wife everyday. It has been a tremendous value and life giving activity for me. It is so uplifting to my spirit and our relationship. Having a joint hobby is really cool. 

How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?

I didn’t do anything about my condition when I learned about it. I did not hang out with the right people. They put me on medication and that’s about it. I went the opposite direction after the diagnosis. Fast forward to joining CrossFit and being committed to this journey of health. I knew that I needed to plan. I would have to change my schedule in order to attend. As well as figure out the cost of the gym to attend month after month. I sat down with my wife, Hannah, to figure out the schedule that would allow us to come day after day. I want to get my money’s worth for anything that I pay for. I bought the unlimited membership. I saw it as another layer of accountability for myself. I also experienced a mental struggle being in a new setting with new people and not understanding some of the movements. The coach’s advice has helped a lot with performing the movements.

At the end of the day, my goal is to get stronger and faster. I want to continue to improve my health. Some days I come in to push myself really hard. Some days I come in to just move. I scale.I know that however I workout, I am becoming a healthier version of myself. 

How do you tie your shoes? 

I always tie my right shoe first. Tighten the laces then bunny ear. 

Where do you want to go for next anniversary

For our 10 year anniversary I want to go to a Caribbean Resort and renew our wedding vows.

Favorite book

Becoming a Better You. Life is about self reflection and self evaluation.

Enneagram Type

Type 8, the challenger.

Tacos or Burritos

Tacos. You can eat them faster, so you can eat more.